Lawn management
  • It is important to manage your lawn with water quality concerns in mind. 

  • How you cut your grass can alter how green and healthy it looks, how deep its root systems go, how much water it is able to absorb, and its level of drought and erosion resistance.

  • Follow the lawn management steps below to reduce your environmental impact through a few easy changes.

Photo courtesy Koi Boynton.

Manage your lawn to encourage a healthy soil system. 

When managing your lawn, follow these simple steps to minimize impacts to water quality:

  • Cut your grass at 2.5-3 inches to encourage deeper root systems. Traditional grass lawns (which are invasive) have very short root systems that do not hold onto deep soil. Small root systems lead to erosion, which can cause property damage and water pollution from sediment.

  • Leave grass clippings on the lawn or compost them. Leaving grass clippings on your lawn allows nutrients in those clippings to be recycled back into the lawn.

  • Test your soil to see if fertilizer is necessary. If you apply unnecessary fertilizer, excess nutrients will not be absorbed but will instead wash into nearby waterbodies and contribute to toxic outbreaks or “blooms” of cyanobacteria (check out our fertilizers page for more info on algae blooms).

  • Don’t over water your lawn. Water thoroughly but infrequently to allow your grass’ roots to grow deeper and become more resilient to drought.

  • Don’t blow, sweep, rake or hose yard waste into street gutters, storm drains, or streams. Yard waste can clog storm drains and cause localized flooding, in addition to being expensive and time intensive for municipal crews to clean out.

  • Aerate your lawn. Aeration reduces the impacts of compaction, and can help water, air, and nutrients reach down to your grass' roots. You can aerate your lawn using spike aerators, slicing aerators, core aerators, or plug aerators.

Deeper dive
Contact Us

Franklin County Stormwater

c/o Northwest Regional Planning Commission

75 Fairfield Street

St. Albans VT 05478

FranklinCountyStormwater@gmail.com

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